Posts Tagged ‘soup’


Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

It’s -10 degrees outside.


Yet somehow none of my classes have been cancelled, because:

The School is an adult community and is a residential campus. Unlike elementary or secondary schools, the School does not abandon its operations to prevent small children and other students from potential travel or weather hazards. Students, faculty, and staff are all urged, however, to use discretion and judgment not to endanger their individual safety in order to travel to campus. In the event of a weather emergency, one should carefully weigh the risks of travel to and from the place of study or work, utilizing the best available public news disclosures or contacts to School offices able to be open.

Sadly, I have in person assignments due in three of my four classes, so …

I’m up and eating the rest of the ricotta breakfast casserole. This is the upside to wrapping leftovers in foil – you can occasionally be surprised by something tasty.

Yesterday I didn’t have to go anywhere, so I stayed home and made stuffed french toast with croissants. I did one croissant with ham and cheddar and one with almond paste, and we each had half of each.

The unfortunate thing abou croissants is that the outside layer stops the egg liquid from getting through. I put the outsides on the inside, but it was still never really a sandwich as much as it was two pieces of french toast with hot dry stuff in between.

Which certainly isn’t icky.


Oh, I actually did leave the house yesterday – for staples.

That’s a completely valid reason to wear my new gloves.

Bought for $1.50 at Kohls.

Crockett didn’t leave the house either.

P.S. Yes, we need furniture risers for this couch. The mismatched undercushion isn’t permanent, promise.

It never got that snowy. Can it be too cold to snow?

The natural choice for a snowy day?

Soup, of course.

As if I even had to ask.

This is butternut squash soup from Imagine Foods, with the very last of my Chobani yogurt stirred in. On the side is a salad with baby spinach and mixed greens, honey mustard dressing, pecans, low-fat feta, and an amusingly mandolined apple.

See? Amusing.

I make my own fun.

For dinner I made a recipe that the Kitchn recently published, from one of their editors new cookbooks – Chickpea Casserole with Lemon, Herbs, and Shallots.

The only substitutions I made were white rice instead of brown, because we had some leftover, and dried rosemary soaked in water until soft instead of fresh. (I added the water too, don’t worry.)

I put off posting last night so I could include pictures of the finished product… and then forgot to take them.

It was good. It came out a little dry, but since I’m using a convection oven for the first time that might be more my fault than the recipes.

Anyway. Brrr.

inside joke or coincidence

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Do you ever spend an entire day feeling like you’re trying to catch up with yourself?

Every time we go to Costco, Crockett buys a big old container of Naked Green Monster juice. Yesterday morning, he poured me a big tasty glass. I’m not sure I’d actually ever had it before, because it was wayyyyy sweeter than I expected. My love of sugar knows no bounds, but I wasn’t able to finish it.  The coffee though – that I finished.  By the time I was done with it, though, I was running late for school.
I headed home before school to make myself breakfast. I think I’m in a rut. An oatmeal rut.

Do you see how pretty it is with the little red flecks of cranberry, though? How can you say no to such a thing?

The lunch I packed was a little schizophrenic.

Can a lunch be schizophrenic?

If it can, mine was. Salad with turkey and celery and blue cheese dressing and hot sauce, and my dad’s cinnamon orange rice pudding.

I had meetings between classes, but since I had to stay on for the inaugural meeting of the Women in Computing meeting at school I made it to the gym at 4. I ran 1.4 miles and felt like I was going to die. I think, perhaps, that my turkey passed it’s prime several days ago.

When I organized the meeting (*pride face*), I mentioned to our department admin that it would be nice to have snacks, and then promptly forgot. She, happily, didn’t – cookies and candy and juice and soda.

No diet soda though.

I refuse to drink regular soda.

I may have had a cookie though.

The problem with Thanksgiving is that one small person and one gigantic fridge full of leftovers leads to lots of wasted food. When I was shifting stuff around last night, I realized I still had half a bag of brussels sprouts. So I made cheesy salad.

Enjoyed with a small glass of wine and….

Pumpkin soup! After my tomato soup from Tuesday night, I was in a soup mood. This one is shallots, garlic, red curry paste, chicken stock, and pumpkin, all blended up in my little smoothie blender.

Yes, blending a curry soup in my breakfast blender was a risky move.  My hand blender is still at Crockett’s, though, and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Then, when watching Supernatural while doing homework, I saw something that blew my mind. This? Is Harmony. Harmony the vampire. From an entirely different television show – a little thing called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In case the blood around her mouth doesn’t tip you off, she’s a vamp here too.

Inside joke or coincidence?

Who can say.

you can see our quality!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

There was something different about my oatmeal yesterday.

If you can tell what it is, you spend too much time looking at pictures of oatmeal.

Why yes, I did add two tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal. I’ve actually had the stuff in my freezer for months. I tried it on it’s own and it’s sort of disgusting (sorry Bob), but it adds a level of complexity to plain old rolled oats. (My stone ground stuff was too slow for my belly this am.)

Complex oatmeal. Again, if that’s not new to you, you spend too much time thinking about oatmeal.

Properly fortified, I bundled up in a manner you might expect from someone living at a much higher latitude.

Like, Juno.

What? It was cold.

We met a cardboard pig who was particularly enthusiastic about renting out this house. The girls were equally enthusiastic about trying to kill it with their patented barking-from-afar method.

Everyone’s favorite time is bathtime. And by everyone, I mean no one. I had to bribe them with cookies just to get close enough to take these pictures because they were both so pissed at me.

Side note: I have to wash Cloey first, because if I put Maida in the sink Cloey knows what’s coming and hides under the bed. If I put Cloey in the sink Maida stands around watching until it’s her turn. She’s stupid. It’s endearing.

Part of the whole South Beach thing is eschewing processed grains. I like processed grains, but I’m taking baby steps. Instead of my beloved sourdough I bought this whole wheat bread. I have no idea what Eco-Grain means. I’m guessing it means that the grains grow out of the ground. Probably. What I do know is that it was on sale and also that even baby steps are hard and stupid and I miss my white bread.

Whole wheat bread, cranberry chutney, turkey, Tillamook cheddar + broiler =

Melty deliciousness. As far as I’m concerned all cheese should be melted cheese. Except when you’re bringing it home from the grocery store. Because that could get messy.

Crockett is sick, sadly. He’s all *cough cough* *wheeze wheeze*. My sick boy makes me sad, so I went over to make him some creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Simple creamy tomato soup

Serves 2 generously

1/3 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
1 Tbs butter
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 Tbs (or more) dried basil *
1 Tbs sugar (optional)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1/2 cup – 1 cup water or stock
Half and half or heavy cream

It’s that easy. Sauté the onion in the butter until it’s soft but before it’s started to brown. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the basil and 1/2 tsp or more of salt, the sugar, and the wine and let it bubble away for 10 or fifteen minutes. Add the stock or water.
Here’s where I went wrong. I blended (using my handy dandy hand blender) for awhile, but not long enough. It had pieces of chunky onion and I hate that. Crockett seemed to like it though.
After you’ve blended, add your half and half. I specifically did not include a measurement because this is a personal preference. We probably had a quarter cup in the pot and I poured an additional tablespoon over Crockett’s bowl – you could go up to a cup without being ridiculous. Warm through and serve.
*About the basil – I dried my basil myself a month ago. If yours is older, feel free to use more. Basil is delicious. If you have fresh, I wouldn’t use it on this soup – dried works just fine.

A recipe for this would just embarrass both of us. Basically, take some thinly sliced white bread (WHAT, I had whole wheat with lunch), and butter the outside. Stick as much brie as you think you can handle in the middle.  Put in a pan until brown.

Stick in your soup.

Feel better, even if you weren’t feeling ill in the first place.

not guilty

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

There’s something to be said for setting yourself up for a bad day. Now, this only works every so often – I’m not advocating it as a lifestyle, ok? However, every once in awhile, if you think your day is going to suck, it’s ok to embrace it. That way, when it does (at least a little), you saw it coming and you’re good to go.

This is what I chose to fuel myself with. Except? This isn’t mine, it’s Crockett’s. Mine had cottage cheese instead of brown sugar and I made the executive decision to show the pretty one. Because it’s my blog and I can.

Finally, FINALLY, there was snow on the ground. What does that look like, about a quarter of an inch? Record breaking, I’m sure.

Stress makes one hungry, have you ever noticed that? I mean, uh.. has one ever noticed that? I don’t think either of those makes sense. Anyway, when I got to school I was starving and I ate lunch while walking to class. Chobani yogurt topped with homemade granola and just a smidge of honey – the Chobani was mad pricey and I just picked up another, cheaper brand to try when this one is gone. There is something to be said for the Greek style. Is ‘once you go Greek you never go back’ a thing? If not, can we make it one?

And grapes.

I got my dreaded project back. I had my dreaded meeting. I celebrated by going to the gym and running three slloowww miles and doing lotsa weights. I may not lift weights until next Monday, since I’m not really set up for it at home, so I figured it might as well be serious today.

My arms kind of hurt.

After my second class, I went by Whole Foods, because I’d suddenly developed a panic attack that there would be no turkeys left if I waited until tomorrow.

I got one. I’ve had a Diestel for the last three years, and they’re good. I feel like if you’re going to pick one day to really source your food, Thanksgiving should be that day. I have absolutely no evidence or reasoning to back that up, in case you’re wondering.

By the time I’d made it through the grocery store, I was starving. Again.

And you thought we were going to have a day without a smoothie.

I also had some of my sausage and bean soup. Because soup and a smoothie is the perfect combination.

Thanksgiving is only two days away, really. Did you realize that? Before leaving the house tonight, I made Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney, tea cookie dough, and several pies worth of crust.

This is what your kitchen looks like the week before Thanksgiving, right?



Now I have seven hours of waiting to do. See y’all tomorrow.

Kissy face

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

SO many things to do, so little time.

The most reasonable course of action was not to spend the whole morning cooking. But I did anyway.

I think I may be developing a caffeine problem. My clue is that today, I poured a glass of diet coke while I waited for my coffee to finish dripping.

When it came to breakfast time, all of my bowls were in the dishwasher, and the dishwasher was running. What’s a girl to do?

What on earth could be in these cups?

Who can tell? (If you’re guessing radioactive cranberries right now, I can’t blame you.)

Coffee and pumpkin oatmeal with cranberry sauce. Today I skipped both the banana and the yogurt in the oatmeal, and it was sooo much tastier. I don’t know what I was thinking yesterday.

While eating breakfast, I got the beans that had been soaking overnight cooking. While Rancho Gorda claims that there’s no reason to drain the soaking liquid, I did it anyway, and started them in a pot of fresh water. (I didn’t actually buy the beans from Rancho Gorda, I bought them from the supermarket, but  oh how I would like to order some from them.)

Then I mixed up my very first batch of granola. Since I’m working on this whole low fat low sugar thing, making my own seems more sensible right now. This is half a cup of honey (not no sugar, y’all, just low sugar), half a cup of pumpkin, half a cup of rinsed flaked coconut, half a cup of pumpkin seeds, and six cups of oats. Oh, and salt, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and cloves.

It made a sticky, mushy uncooked granola, and it took about 45 minutes to dry out in a 350 degree oven.

The crunchy version is tasty though. The addition of oil definitely changes the texture, doesn’t it? When I get through this batch, I’m doing one with WAY more coconut. I guess that’s no surprise, since if I were a Roman goddess and people brought me tributes, I would request at least 90% of them to be coconut.

The beans were done at about the same time as the granola. I changed the water again (again for probably no good reason) and added boullion paste. I cooked up some Canino’s spicy italian  sausage (local, woman owned, low-fat (for sausage), and damn delicious) and added it to the beans. Two sage leaves and ten handfuls of spinach, lid back on, and boom. Lunch simmering away.

The girls and I went for a walk.

Don’t trees like this make you want to climb up and sit there with a book?

Now, I’m back in my nest:

and soup is on.

Later, dudes.


Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Oh, yesterday. Ok, there’s this phenomenon wherein you’re not particularly busy on the outside, but your brain is all ‘zoom zoom zoom’, and it wears you out. And by you I mean me, because I don’t know if anyone else experiences this. (Do you?) Yesterday was one of those days.

Hurro smoothie. Don’t you look delicious, and not at all like baby vomit.

This smoothie did a MUCH better job of filling me up than my Tuesday version. I have no idea why, but I made it at 8, had my 12 o’clock class and my 1 o’clock meeting, and still wasn’t hungry. The only difference was that I added yogurt. Oh, and ground flax and some pumkpin pie spices. I wonder if it was the flax?

I did eat several handfuls that look like this while on campus. Because, cashews? Basically the nuts that god would eat, were god a nut eater.


Just reminding you that you’re in the presence of genius. (I hope my project partners aren’t reading this. Guys, if you are, your genius contributed too. Obviously. If you’re not reading this… wait, then who am I talking to?)

Doesn’t it seem like 100% is more than a ‘good job’?

My prof for my 3 PM class got sick, so I came home early and ate some mushrooms and half a chicken breast. Straight out of the fridge with a fork. This south beach thing is making me into a strange eater, y’all.

On the way out of school, I saw this.

I don’t know if this is a band or what, but I love it.

Not that my bumper stickers aren’t cool too.

Then? Can I get a wine wednesday please? All together now. (It was Crockett’s idea, otherwise I would have forgotten. This is why I love him.)

Yes, I am wearing full on ragamuffin gloves. Yes, I do think they look fantastic.

We camped out at the bar, as per usual. Bread, butter, and bourbon (all for Crockett – not on my diet. Sad.) Cell phone providing updates on the Sabres game.

I have a usual, at The Empire. Calamari salad. Last night, though, we branched out.

I know, I was surprised too.

We split two specials. This was a brussels sprouts salad. It had sliced raw brussels sprouts, frisee (my hands down favorite green), shaved pecorino, and walnuts. It was dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Crockett hates brussels sprouts, but he ate (ahem more than ahem) half of this without complaint. I dug it, but I think I prefer my sprouts lightly cooked.

Seafood stew. Mussels, squid, mahi mahi, scallops…

…octopus, and chickpeas.

Chickpeas. I don’t know why they were in there, but it totally worked.

I was thisclose to licking the bowl

That wine book is there because I’m trying to talk Crockett into going to wine country with me during Christmas break.

We could basically live here.

I can’t hack, but I can knit

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Me, being well behaved. More zucchini cakes with yogurt on top.

At what point do we have to stop calling this ‘unseasonably warm’ and just start calling it ‘freak of nature weather’? It was warm again. I ran (passing several hot air ballooners – who are these people? Are they working or playing?) and was all sweaty when I stopped by Crockett’s to say hi. Not that I sweat. Because, ick.

My raspberry bushes are really enjoying the FON weather. Not that they’re giving me raspberries – more that they’re healthy and happy.

I saw my sweetheart neighbor and her adorable little puppy Maggie. Maggie is insane in a way that makes Maida seem sane, which you know I appreciate. It’s nice when the misbehavior of others justifies your own. Or your dog’s. Whichever.

I got my run in just in time, because we had this horrible rainy windy ickiness immediately following.

Then? THEN? Ladies lunch.

My Ignite girlfriends arrived. Several months ago now, I spoke at an event called Ignite Boulder. Ignite is a brainf**k for the speakers. You propose a topic, and the proposals are voted on by the community. If you’re chosen, you prepare a 5 minute speech with twenty slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. (My slides are here, if you’re interested. Word on the street was that before that night, no one had created a presentation with nothing but drawings. I’m a trendsetter, me.) Several amazing women also spoke that night, and I’ve become friends with three of them.

We ate like queens. We had a roasted vegetable soup and (SHOCKER) apple cheddar scones from me, salad with candied walnuts and dried cranberries and apple cider from Steph, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from Danya, and apple crisp and mimosas from Mary.

How can you not love women who bring that kind of food and smile like this when you point your camera at them?

Maida wasted no time enthusiastically declaring her dominance over all of us.

Pumpkin cookies. Soft and spicy and full of the yum.

We took a break from the eating to partake in crafts. Danya is knitting a (quite intimidating) sweater. Mary is working on felt coffee cup holders for her as yet unopened Etsy shop – she’s making me a bracelet version that I can’t wait to start wearing every single day. Steph and I brushed up on our knitting skills – don’t we look like we know exactly what’s going on?

What? Crafts are hunger inducing.

(South Beach starts tomorrow. For reals this time.)

What crafts are you good at? Are they the same ones that you enjoy doing?

the day of silly news and lots of showing off

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Thursday (still writing two days behind, yes) contained many many things.

An exam. My first academic conference. My first academic poster presentation. A dance party.

The results from my physical. Healthy as a horse. Oh, except?


I’m struggling with this a little. It runs in my family, and my grandma lived to 84 despite her truly staggering cholesterol numbers. However, heart disease is a serious problem for women. Like, kills more of us than all cancers combined serious. All this despite the fact that it hasn’t been made all pink in the media – who knew?

My doctor requested that I try some diet modifications before we talk about medication (which is good, because my feelings towards medication are… not great). Specifically, she wants me to try the South Beach Diet for four months. If you don’t know (I didn’t), that diet was developed by a cardiologist to solve specifically this problem. When it was later found to help you drop pounds, it was marketed for weight loss, but that wasn’t the original intention.

So, expect to see more South Beach type food. There’s a pretty strict induction period that I’ll start in the next couple of days, when I’ve gone through some of the food I have at home.

Anyway. Thursday!

Still fall.

Hell, the grass in places makes it look like it’s still summer. Despite the, you know, early November date on the calendar.

I’m sure I ate breakfast. Absolutely positive. I don’t know what it was, because I didn’t take a picture of it, apparently. Does that mean that Mangled Baby Duck is causing me to have early alzheimers? Is that even possible? I did, however, eat lunch. Pumpkin soup + apple scone = repetitive but tasty.

I hit the print shop on campus to pick up my gigantic poster – my gigantic poster that has very fall appropriate colors, I might add.

Then? I studied for my Algorithm Design exam.

Dudes. Don’t judge the face. It’s a hard class.

I added to the mess that is my office desk. Also pictured? My office mate’s desk.

I survived the exam. I considered taking a picture of it, but since I was being allowed to take it early because of the conference I thought that my professor might find my photographing it suspicious. “I’m a blogger” does not, in fact, get you out of as many scrapes as you might think.


Conference time!

Lady schwag. I would have preferred regular schwag, but apparently the ‘pink and sparkly’ mindset has pervaded even Google. Sigh.

After the poster session (at which I kicked some serious ass, thank you for asking), they fed us. Actually, I was late to dinner because I had to be reviewed by extra judges because I was a finalist in the poster contest! Because, basically, I rock. And am really modest, also.

The salad was damn tasty. Sun dried tomatoes, which I’m finally overcoming my recent distaste for, shaved parm, and a creamy herb dressing. Oh, and VERY toasty pine nuts. They were perfect for me, but I think toasted nuts should be just this side of burnt.

In case you’re wondering, was this good for my heart? No. No it wasn’t. Know what was probably worse?

Cheesy tortellini in some sort of creamy sauce. (That’s as close as I can get. It was red and creamy. Some sort of tomato cream sauce, except thick like pesto. Odd, but good.) Broccoli rabe and more sun dried tomatoes, check. Olives, check.

I’m curious as to whether they would have made the main course vegetarian if this had been the Colorado Celebration of Men in Computing.

Not that such a conference would ever be allowed to exist.

Dinner was followed by a speech on … very scary cyber security stuff. The keynote speaker, Dr. Pamela Drew, left us with an admonition to be careful how much of our lives we put on the internet.

I quite literally laughed out loud. It was sort of embarrassing.

Afterwards? Breakout sessions in which someone stole my candy (seriously), and dancing. I may or may not have attempted the caterpillar. There is no photographic evidence, either way.

Do you know any breakdancing moves?

big days, y’all. big days.

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Yes, it’s Friday night, and I’m talking about Wednesday. The last couple of days have been a thrilling gigantic pain in the ass. (Betcha didn’t know such a thing was possible.)

The Kitch’n had this post recently on hot breakfasts, and they mentioned Cream of Wheat. I ate a lot of cream of wheat when I was younger, but my tastes have matured.

Now I eat Malt O’ Meal.

This version had pumpkin butter stirred in and some homemade cranberry sauce (add sugar and orange juice to cranberries – cook – taste – add more sugar and a pinch of salt – taste – add more sugar (or not) – cook)).

After lunch I took the chicas for a nice walk and then got down to studying, as I had an exam yesterday. On Wednesday, yesterday was tomorrow. Got that?

Something was going on outside that fascinated Cloey. I think it may have been the garbage truck.

Silly dog.

This, darlings, is what became of the onions from Tuesday. I left them in the slow cooker alone for several hours, and then added a can of pumpkin, two cups of vegetable stock, a can of navy beans, a can of white kidney beans, a bay leaf, two sage leaves, and some chili powder. Another 4 hours in the slow cooker and I blended it all up and stuck it in the fridge. The original concept was vegetarian pumpkin chili, but it ended up being more of a thick bean soup. Either way, tasty, and a perfect compliment to my apple cheddar scones.

I wore my favorite earrings.

No, that has nothing to do with anything. They’re just my favorite.

At school I had a couple of bad meetings, but I did get a 40 minute run in. I figure if you add that to the thirty minute run I did on Tuesday, I only ended up being ten minutes short of my 80 minute goal. (Wednesday was supposed to be a rest day. Also, I am aware that the 80 minutes is to get you used to running for that long. But whatever.)

After school I stole Crockett away from work and made him go out with me to my favorite restaurant for my favorite food in the whole world.

Oh, you’d like to know what you’re looking at? Why, Calamari Salad from The Empire, of course.

We ate at the bar (our MO), and chatted with our favorite local opera singer.

No, really. He’s an opera singer. He sang for Crockett on his birthday and in a few weeks he’s moving to San Diego to be a part of the opera company there.

I mostly just wanted to get this in there so that when he’s all famous I can point to this for proof.

Then? Homework.

With the occasional break to use permanent marker to write my name on Crockett. (This is his foot.) What? He’s mine now. That’s what permanent markers are for.

on the night in question

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Yesterday started with my first ever full physical. At 8 am.

Mostly, that meant I had to stop eating at 8 Sunday night, and had to wait until after my appointment to consume anything but water.


I mean, water is good, but NOTHING else? No coffee?

Fudge to that. I mean, I did it, but I wasn’t happy about it. The lack of reasonable reading material at the doctor’s office did nothing to help.

I’m sorry, am I missing something? Is this ‘Powers’ person a joke? What ‘Powers’ moves DO wow women? I didn’t actually pick it up, because that would have been validating it in a way I wasn’t comfortable with.

When I got home, I had oatmeal with bananas, peanut butter, and pumpkin butter. And three cups of coffee.

During my physical we made a really good trade. I gave them five gigantic vials of blood and in return, they gave ME a tetanus shot. Best deal ever, amirite?

I don’ t know if it was the shot, the blood loss, or a combination of the two, but I was completely wiped for the rest of the day. I even tried to use my ‘queen of the world’ refrigerator magnet to encourage clear thinking.

Then? I ate more. Everything in sight, really.

It’s hard to tell what’s going on here, so I’ll fill you in. It started as a gigantic apple cheddar scone and a huge mug of hot soup. It turned into a mush of the two. I ate half of it before I was energetic enough to photograph it.

I have one or two servings of this soup left, but I’m not sure it’s good anymore. It’s a week old and it seems to be less than healthy. That bums me out, because I hate wasting food – I really need to focus on making amounts I’m capable of consuming in a timely manner.

I pulled the bandaid off in class, and dude. Seriously? Look at the damage the tape did.

Also, please note that I truly have a handy little freckle to mark the needle-stickin-in spot.

After class I went to a happy hour with some of the other women in my department at school. The food was on the department, so we got a little crazy.

A chicken quesadilla.

A flaming cheese of some kind that was so delicious looking that one of my co-lady Computer Scientists whipped it out from under my camera so we could start the chowdown.

And? A whole smorgasbord of other delights.

It was awesome.

Of course, it really ate into my homework time, and we know how I hate it when that happens.

Did you survive Halloween night and live to fight another day?